Bieber, Alonso, Lewis among 8 whose contracts renewed

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NEW YORK — AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians was among eight players whose contracts were unilaterally renewed by their team before Thursday’s deadline for all players on 40-man rosters to have deals for the 2021 season.

Bieber will receive a $679,700 salary while in the major leagues and $311,600 in the unlikely event he is optioned to the minors.

Bieber was an All-Star in 2019 and led the major leagues during last year’s shortened season in wins (eight), ERA (1.63) and strikeouts (122). Unless he reaches a long-term deal, he is likely to be eligible for salary arbitration next winter.

The eight renewals were among the fewest in one year.

Those renewed include New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year, who gets a salary of $676,775 in the major leagues and $326,261 in the minors.

Alonso was an All-Star in 2019, when he hit a rookie record 53 home runs, batted .260 and had 120 RBIs. He hit .231 with 16 homers and 35 RBIs last year.

“Absolutely no bitterness, at all,” said Alonso, who decided not to sign the deal the Mets offered. “Right now there’s very little that I can do because I’m a a 0-to-3 player. And this is one of those circumstances where this is the only right I have, and I thought it would be best to exercise that right.”

Mets outfielder Jeff McNeil was renewed at a salary of $642,251 in the majors and $308,838 in the minors. He batted .311 with four homers and 23 RBIs last year after hitting .318 with 23 homers and 75 RBIs in 2019. Alonso and McNeil also are likely to be eligible for arbitration next winter.

Another top young Mets player, left-hander David Peterson, agreed to a one-year contract with a salary of $585,750 in the major leagues.

Seattle outfielder Kyle Lewis, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year, was renewed for $625,000 in the majors and $282,750 in the minors. Lewis won’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2022 season at the earliest.

Others renewed Arizona right-hander Zac Gallen ($607,500/$287,500), Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles ($583,500/$93,000), Atlanta pitcher Ian Anderson ($575,500/$142,978) and Oakland catcher Sean Murphy ($575,500/$281,750).

Toles was placed on the restricted list in March 2019 and was briefly at extended spring training that year but did not play. He was arrested last June on a misdemeanor trespassing charge in Key West, Florida.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.